Albeit a good-looking movie with a fascinating premise, Sam Walker’s The Seed is constantly being held hostage by its poorly written script.
Writer Director Sam Walker (Pool Shark) crafted an entertaining horror comedy in The Seed† Sadly, some of his more indulgent attempts at comedy hang the cast out to dry. The cinematography is inviting and a step above the film itself as beautiful natural light cascades over the first two acts. The horror elements of The Seed are quirky and disgusting in the best way, leaving viewers in terrified anticipation as to what the monster actually is. Albeit a good-looking movie with a fascinating premise, The Seed is constantly being held hostage by its poorly written script.
Heather (Sophie Vavasseur) has an open house courtesy of her unknowing dad and decides to take her two best friends Diedre (Lucy Martin) and Charlotte (Chelsea Edge) for a weekend getaway. When a comet passes in the night, Charlotte and Heather are enamored by it while the self-absorbed Diedre is missing the once-in-a-lifetime experience to complain that her phone has no service. The comet makes a sharp turn and crash-lands on the property. At first, it resembles a huge piece of feces before it morphs into more of a turtle shape. By the next day the creature is capable of movement and now looks like an armadillo, according to the characters. Needless to say, they are freaked out and call for help in the form of the fifteen-year-old, pimple-faced gardener who offers to get rid of it if Charlotte kisses him.
As soon as their lips lock, The Seed turns upside down. He attempts to fulfill his end of the bargain but instead runs away as fast as he can, leaving the women to wonder what happened and where is the little monster. All of a sudden, Diedre’s complaint about no cell service becomes extremely valid as the girls are now stuck in a house with an alien that grows by the hour. When Charlotte starts feeling bad for the creature, she carries him into the house and begins taking care of an alien they know nothing about, treating it like a baby. Diedre is done with all of this and tries killing the alien with rat poison. But one look into his glassy eyes and she drops the poison. From that point on, it feels like she is possessed by the spirit of the alien.
Lucy Martin (Vikings) plays the Instagram-obsessed valley girl perfectly and is absolutely in the joke of the movie. However, the script beats the audience over the head, reminding them that she is shallow with lines like “I finally got the name. D-fine. I’m D and I’m fine.” No doubt that Vavasseur comes into the film with the longest resume, but Martin’s turn in Vikings might make her the most talented of the trio, making it even harder watching her deliver corny lines ad nauseam. Thankfully, the film escalates pretty quickly and, by the end, there is less time for hair and make-up and only time for survival.
Similarly, the movie can’t help but remind viewers that Charlotte is not Lucy. Make no mistake Chelsea Edge has some funny one-liners, “But I kissed the… you know, CHILD.” However, the film undercuts its best moments by teasing her about having a retro phone, but one that has a touch screen. Her role as the down-to-earth hipster feels like relegation at best and unnecessary at worst. It would be an oversimplification to say that she is the audience conduit because Vavasseur is the character that comes off as an actual human being. Never too preppy or too hipster, it’s actually her candor and mindset as an actress that makes the trio feel so believable.
The lighting and cinematography help make The Seed more watchable and its flashes of space travel and blue planets make some scenes feel truly special. The Seed packs a punch by the end but getting there can feel like a chore. It’s not because of the performances or the plot, but the not-so-great dialogue. That being said, Sam Walker’s vision is clear and the movie is filmed well, maximizing the surroundings and keeping the monster at arm’s length until just the right moment. With map-crazed neighbors and a glass full of rat poison, The Seed has all the trappings of a creepy vacation horror movie. Sadly, the most interesting character is the gross little turtle.
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The Seed is available on Shudder as of March 10. The film is 91 minutes long and is rated R for language, sexual situations, and violence.
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